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Move to create centre of sporting excellence in Northern NSW

Move to create centre of sporting excellence in Northern NSW
October 3, 2014

Tamworth Regional Councillors have backed a concept to progressively enhance major sports facilities on Tamworth's south side through a precinct master plan and establish a Centre of Excellence.

The proposal will involve facilities in the precinct around Jack Smyth Drive including the Australian Equine and Livestock Events Centre (AELEC), Tamworth Regional Entertainment and Conference Centre (TRECC) and Tamworth Sports Dome.

Councillors recently endorsed a proposal for a master plan to be developed to provide a strategic framework for the development of existing facilities and the establishment of new facilities.

The master plan will aim to integrate facilities and services to gain optimal efficiency and effectiveness as well as contribute to leveraging opportunities for facility funding and establish a brand for the precinct to use in attracting and promoting facilities and events.

Councillors also supported the establishment of the Northern Inland Centre of Excellence which seeks to 'activate' the facilities within the precinct and maximise the economic, sport, health and social benefits.

Tamworth Regional Mayor Col Murray said creating the Northern Inland Centre of Excellence will build on the region's already strong reputation for nurturing top level sporting abilities and hosting major sports events and competitions.

Mayor Murray explained “developing a precinct master plan and centre of excellence will allow us to take this to the next level.

“It will open the doors to funding opportunities to enhance those facilities and to establish stronger strategic partnerships with a range a sporting associations at a state and national level and result in more athlete development activities and competitive events to be held here.”

Tamworth Regional Council Manager Sports Venues and Development, Simon Haire, said the concept of developing sports hubs or centres of excellence is an industry trend.

Haire stated “the Melbourne Sports Hub and the Sports Super Centre on the Gold Coast are examples of facilities which go beyond venue provision and create greater value to stakeholders because they provide a range of services such as sports medicine, health, education, administration centres and training and athlete development.

“While these two facilities are aimed at a state or national level, similar principles can be used at a regional level in Tamworth to gain similar benefits and outcomes.”

The Council report revealed the centre of excellence concept was first raised at a workshop with Councillors in December last year.

Since then meetings have been held with a range of regional, state and national bodies such as Northern Inland Academy of Sport, Cricket NSW, Central Northern Cricket Zone, Northern NSW Football, Northern Inland Football, Equestrian NSW, Equestrian Australia, National Cutting Horse Association, Australian Bushman's Campdraft and Rodeo Association, Basketball NSW, Tamworth Basketball, Netball NSW, Tamworth Netball, Hockey NSW and Tamworth Hockey.

The development of the Master Plan and Centre of Excellence will be carried out in consultation with key internal and external stakeholders including the Tamworth Regional Council Sports Working Group. Any funding for capital expenditure will be the subject of future reports to Council and/or submissions to external funding bodies, based on a funding strategy to be prepared as part of the master plan. 



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